Not Coming to a Theater Near You - 2020

Due to Emory’s decision to close the campus for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester, all film series events are cancelled for the remainder of the semester.

Press Contact: Gary Fessenden,
Program Contact: Evan Amaral,

ATLANTA (February 27, 2020) — The Emory Cinematheque is proud to present the second edition of “Not Coming to a Theater Near You,” a two-weekend long, student-run film festival that will run Thursday, April 2nd through Sunday, April 11th.

“Not Coming to a Theater Near You,” will showcase some of the best fiction, non-fiction, avant-garde, and art films from around the world that have premiered since 2018. None of the films from our diverse selection have screened theatrically in Atlanta — one of the country’s largest, fastest-growing hubs of film production — so Emory brings them here to be shared with local film lovers. The program is made up of boundary-pushing films by veteran auteurs (such as Agnès Varda, Jafar Panahi, and Pedro Costa) and emerging talents alike, and includes work from Romania, Chile, France, Iran, Portugal, China, and the United States. Avant-garde animator Jodie Mack will open the festival with her debut feature THE GRAND BIZARRE, along with a selection of shorts, and participate in a post-screening Q&A. Documentary filmmaker Khalik Allah will close the festival with his second feature, BLACK MOTHER, and also participate in a post-screening Q&A.

“Not Coming to a Theater Near You” is a student-run festival, programmed by third-year film studies major and festival founder Evan Amaral (supervised by Department Chair Dr. Matthew H. Bernstein), and sponsored by the Department of Film and Media Studies.

The opening and closing night films will be introduced by Evan Amaral, while the rest will be introduced by members of Emory faculty, to be announced in the coming weeks (along with Q&A moderators).

For more information, visit the Emory Film and Media Studies website at, our facebook page at, or call 404-727-6761.

The schedule for the festival is as follows:

THE GRAND BIZARRE (2018) + Shorts Program |Thursday, April 2nd - 7:30 p.m. (Opening Night Screening)

“Must be seen to be properly experienced, preferably on a big screen, where one can wander through [Mack’s] images”- Monica Castillo, Hyperallergic

Trained at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and based at Dartmouth, experimental animator Jodie Mack is one of the most influential avant-garde film artists of the past decade. THE GRAND BIZARRE, her first feature-length project, is a handmade wonder, a 16mm collage of textiles, music, and other everyday objects as they travel along the economic routes that have come to define our globalized, modern world. A Canyon Cinema release.

The feature, screened on 35mm, will be accompanied by three of Mack’s short films, screened on digital files: POSTHASTE PERENNIAL PATTERN (2010, 4 minutes), WASTELAND NO. 1: ARDENT, VERDANT (2017, 4 minutes), and HOARDERS WITHOUT BORDERS 1.0 (2018, 6 minutes).

I DO NOT CARE IF WE GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS BARBARIANS (2018) | Friday, April 3rd - 7:30 p.m.

“A bitterly comic essay on nationalist mythologies and historical amnesia”- Keith Watson, Slant Magazine

In contemporary Romania, theater director Mariana (Ioana Iacob) attempts to mount an ambitious re-enactment of strongman Ion Antonescu’s 1941 ethnic cleansing on the Eastern Front, facing bureaucratic pressures along the way. Jude’s daring comedy, composed of a series of rigorous philosophical debates on art and politics, cuts deeper into the pernicious psychology of fascism than many modern films on the subject. A Big World Pictures release.

TOO LATE TO DIE YOUNG (2018) | Saturday, April 4th - 7:30 p.m.

“Memoirs are personal by definition — only a few, however, manage to speak with such a universal, instantly relatable voice”- Leonardo Goi, The Film Stage

Set in the summer after the fall of dictator Augusto Pinochet, Castillo’s autobiographical debut feature (for which she became the first woman to win the Locarno Film Festival’s Best Director prize) centers on a group of teenagers, whose close-knit relationship among a rural commune begins to face both new freedoms and the stark challenges of adulthood. A KimStim release.

VARDA BY AGNÈS (2019) | Sunday, April 5th - 7:30 p.m.

“A lovely, late-autumn work, a joy from start to finish”- Catherine Wheatley, Sight and Sound

The final film made by the late, great titan of international cinema, Agnès Varda, this documentary capstone of her life’s work combines footage of one of Varda’s last lectures with excerpts from her films, serving as both a deeply personal reflection on a transgressive career and an bracingly hopeful lesson for the next generation of filmmakers. A Janus Films release.

3 FACES (2018) | Thursday, April 9th - 7:30 p.m.

“[Panahi] remains, more than ever, an effortless blender of documentary and fiction through mystifying methods”- Tomris Laffly,

The fourth feature made in secret by Panahi since the Iranian government imposed a now-thirty-year filmmaking ban on him, this Cannes Best Screenplay winner is a gently funny, loving tribute to three generations of female artists. Panahi and Behnaz Jafari, playing themselves, embark on a road trip through the countryside to find a missing young actress who left them a cryptic message. A Kino Lorber release.

VITALINA VARELA (2019) | Friday, April 10th - 7:30 p.m.

“Spectacular images, ideas, emotions, and performances are embedded in the lugubrious pace and tone of Pedro Costa’s modernist fusion of classic melodrama and documentary”- Richard Brody, The New Yorker

In many ways a culmination of Costa’s radically collaborative project thus far, the film takes its title from its lead actress / co-writer, playing herself alongside Costa regular Ventura in two of the year’s most extraordinary performances. Gorgeously shot on consumer-grade digital by Leonardo Simões, the film follows Varela as she arrives in Portugal from her homeland of Cape Verde, only to find that her husband has passed away. A Grasshopper Film release.

AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL (2018)| Saturday, April 11th - 1:00 p.m.

“Hu locates within [his characters] a unifying soulfulness, a shared wellspring of anguish and grief, that reaches toward and occasionally touches the sublime”- Justin Chang, The Los Angeles Times

The debut feature and final work by acclaimed Chinese novelist Hu Bo, who tragically committed suicide at age 29, this epic portrait of four lonely, interconnected souls searching a bleak urban landscape for a mythical elephant is an extraordainarily beautiful work of cinema — both in its unimpeachable craft and in its deep reserve of kindness, always shining a light on its characters’ humanity among the darkness that encroaches upon them. A KimStim release.

BLACK MOTHER (2018) | Saturday, April 11th - 6:00 p.m.

“[Allah] avoids the literal and the linear to create a beguilingly immersive, multifaceted, vividly sensorial portrait of his mother’s homeland, Jamaica”- Jessica Kiang, Variety

Through his early shorts and 2015 debut FIELD NIGGAS, along with his 2017 book of photography SOULS AGAINST THE CONCRETE, Khalik Allah has emerged as one of the most essential voices in documentary over the past decade. Moving from New York City to Jamaica in BLACK MOTHER, his second feature-length film, Allah crafts an impossibly evocative, thrillingly experimental portrait of home and of a nation. A Grasshopper Film release.